Lakers' Consultant Tex Winter Hospitalized

By  | 

Tex Winter, the longtime Los Angeles Lakers consultant and mentor to coach Phil Jackson, has been hospitalized in Kansas, a team spokesman said Saturday.

Winter, 87, fell ill Saturday morning in Manhattan, where he was attending a reunion of Kansas State basketball team members, said John Black, the Lakers' vice president of communications.

Black would not comment on Winter's specific condition, citing medical privacy laws.

"I can tell you that his condition has shown a slight improvement from this morning," Black said.

Before the Lakers' playoff game at Utah, Jackson said he had spoken to Winters' family and that Winter was resting.

"We probably won't have any better idea until tomorrow (Sunday) morning," Jackson said. "There is a 24-hour span of time that is very critical."

Winter was head coach of the Houston Rockets from 1972-1974. In the 1980s, he worked as an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls, where he began a long working relationship with Jackson.